Expressing the hope to bag $ 5 billion export earnings from the leather, leather goods and footwear sector out of the total export earnings of $60 billion as per the Vision 2021, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said two more leather industrial estates will be set up in Rajshahi and Chittagong divisions to flourish the sector.
"We've already set up an environment-friendly leather industrial estate in Savar and we've more plans. We'll set up two new leather industrial estates in Rajshahi and Chittagong divisions. We'll take necessary steps in this regard. The leather industry should not be Dhaka-centric only; rather it should be spread across the country," she said.
The Prime Minister was inaugurating the three-day Bangladesh Leather Footwear and Leathergoods International Sourcing Show (BLLISS)-2017 at the International Convention Centre Bashundhara (ICCB) in the capital through videoconferencing from her official residence Ganobhaban in the morning.
She also urged the foreign investors and buyers to invest more in Bangladesh's leather sector and source more leather products from Bangladesh.
"All the people you've come from abroad, I welcome you to Bangladesh and I hope this show will help boost our export and bring new dynamism in the sector. This event is a great opportunity to showcase the quality of our products, capacity, compliance and practice in the leather goods and footwear industry in the international buyer brands and potential investors," she said.
The Prime Minister also wished the BLLISS 2017 a grand success.
The Commerce Ministry and Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) jointly organised the event to attract more investment in the leather sector.
The theme of the show is "Think Ahead, Think Bangladesh".
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed was present at the function at the ICAB as a special guest while eminent entrepreneur Syed Manzur Elahi and LFMEAB President M Saiful Islam also spoke.
The pre-recorded speeches of Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and acting FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim were played at the function.
PM's Private Sector Development Adviser Salman F Rahman and Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim were present at Ganobhaban, among others, while Director General (admin) of the PMO Kabir Bin Anwar moderated the function.
Ministers, MPs, diplomats, dignitaries and the leaders of different trade bodies were also present at the ICCB.
An audio-video presentation on the past, present and the future of Bangladesh's leather sector was projected at the function.
Leaders of industrial sector, world famous brands and international buyers from 15 countries, including China, India, Vietnam and Thailand, are participating in the show.